Development of low cost 3D soil surface scanning for physical modelling

S. Robinson, M. J. Brown, A. J. Brennan, M. Cortis, C. E. Augarde, W. M. Coombs

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3D scanning is becoming increasingly commonplace in everyday life, but its potential may be yet to be fully exploited in geotechnical research. Key barriers to its use include issues such as the high cost of the hardware required, the need for specialist or custom built software for processing the 3D scan data and challenges in visualising the final 3D scan. This paper describes the development of a low cost soil surface scanning system that can create a 3D representation of a physical model’s surface geometry accurate to within +/- 0.5 mm. The system is based around a low cost commercially available scanner which is easily deployable and provides rapid output in an integrated 3D model which can be easily visualised and interrogated. Meas-ured physical model surface geometry can also be easily transferred into numerical modelling software to al-low complex surface boundaries to be modelled. The scanner output allows detailed analysis of surface de-formations such as the measurement of features of interest, generation of cross-sections of physical models and the calculation of areas and soil volume
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics (EUROFUGE 2016), Nantes, France, 1-3 June 2016
EditorsLuc Thorel, Alberto Bretschneider, Matthieu Blanc, Sandra Escoffier
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9782857827160
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event3rd European Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics - IFSTTAR, Nantes, France
Duration: 1 Jun 20163 Jun 2016


Conference3rd European Conference on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics
Abbreviated titleEUROFUGE 2016
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